February 17, 2021: Letter from the Superintendent

Letter from the Superintendent: Grade reconfiguration in the 2021 - 2022 school year
Posted on 02/17/2021
Letter from the Superintendent

   Read the full letter from the superintendent (PDF)

Dear Parents/Guardians & Staff,

We are excited to announce that the District will be undergoing a grade reconfiguration in the 2021 - 2022 school year. As a result of the reconfiguration, please note the following:

  • Grade 6 students will move to Ellenville Elementary, which will convert to a K - 6 building. The steady decline in enrollment over the last 10 years makes this possible.

  • Grades 7 -12 will be merged into Ellenville Junior-Senior High School. Students in Grades 7 and 8, along with students in the Ellenville P-TECH Academy, will utilize instructional space inside of the existing middle school building for most of their classes, and may have opportunities to attend classes in the high school building, such as accelerated classes and electives.

  • Additionally, the Elementary School will utilize space in the middle school building, as needed.

This grade reconfiguration comes at an exciting time for the District and allows improved instructional experiences for our students. With our Grade 6 students moving into the elementary school building, they shift from the middle school schedule to the elementary school schedule, which provides for more direct instructional time. Additionally, with several school improvement initiatives on the horizon for our K - 6 students, having Grade 6 housed in the elementary school will allow for greater alignment of resources and practices, providing a stronger elementary level foundation with a renewed focus on math and literacy skills.

With the creation of a Junior-Senior High School, the District will focus on alignment of the curriculum and departmental collaboration to ensure that students are better prepared as they progress through their courses. Further, by consolidating the 7 - 12 instructional staff under one master schedule, we will explore opportunities for accelerated learning at earlier grade levels, and a possible expansion of our course offerings.

As a result of the grade reconfiguration, the staff will be redistributed and additional staff are being considered in each building to support the increase of students being served. The proposal for staffing is outlined on the following table and additional details will be shared once the master schedules are finalized.

Ellenville Elementary School

Incoming Staff from the Middle School:
  • Grade 6 Teachers
  • Psychologist
  • ENL Teacher
Additional Staff Recommendations (To be included in the 2021-22 budget):
  • Mental Health Professional/Student Support Positions
  • Instructional Positions (Classroom & Special Areas)

Ellenville Junior-Senior High School

Incoming Staff from the Middle School:
  • Principal (Will be assigned to P-TECH, but will also support all building operations)
  • Grade 7 & 8 Teachers
  • Assistant Principal
  • School Counselor

We understand that there may be questions related to this plan and therefore the District will be hosting a public hearing on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7:00 PM in the Ellenville High School Media Center prior to the Regular Board meeting. Please note that any visitors to the school will be required to follow our COVID-19 safety protocols which include passing the public health questionnaire and having their temperature checked. All visitors must wear an appropriate face covering and practice social distancing. The hearing will also be live streamed on the District’s YouTube Channel and Channel 20.

We look forward to the enhancement and expansion of our educational programs and are confident that these changes will positively impact our students and school community. We thank you for your support and are available to answer any questions you may have at either the public hearing or by contacting my office at 845 - 647 - 0100.

Sincerely,

Lisa A. Wiles
Superintendent of Schools